SAN FRANCISCO — An Israeli company is accusing Apple of ripping off smartphone camera lens and image zoom technologies in two of its newer iPhone models.
In a lawsuit filed Monday, Tel Aviv-based Corephotonics alleges that Apple willfully infringed four patents in making and selling the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus.
According to the complaint, direct negotiations with Apple to license the patents broke down after Apple “expressed contempt” for the Israeli company’s patents.
It says an Apple negotiator told a Corephotonics co-founder—and former top Israeli government scientist—that “even if Apple infringed, it would take years and millions of dollars in litigation before Apple might have to pay something.”
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
The case centers around so-called dual-aperture lens technology, which the complaint says incorporates both wide-angle and miniature telephone lenses to take higher-quality photos.
Corephotonics also alleges that the iPhones infringe separate patents that allow for more high-resolution zoom in still photos and video by fusing images taken by both lenses.
“Corephotonics developed special techniques to ensure that the transition from the wide lens to the telephoto lens and back would be smooth,” and received patents on those designs, it alleges.
Corephotonics is represented by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in the lawsuit.